Ralph Keely Odor, Jr., retired architect, passed away October 31, 2016. His ashes were scattered in a private ceremony April 15, 2017.
Born in Philadelphia, Penn., on August 9, 1927, Ralph moved to Oklahoma in 1929 with his parents, Ralph Odor, Sr. and Rosalee Lupus Odor, and two siblings Dorothy and Bill. They lived with his grandparents, William H. and Myra Odor, at their farm in Arcadia, Okla., before moving to their own house in Edmond. Ralph's fondest memories were of the farm, playing in the woods and herding W.H.'s turkeys. His grandfather remained one of his lifelong influences. His grandfather was the builder of the Arcadia round barn.
After graduating from Edmond High School, Ralph attended Central State College before deploying in 1951 with the 45th Infantry Division during the Korean War. Ralph was an infantryman with Anti-Tank and Mine Platoon, Headquarters Company, 179th Infantry Regiment. He often remarked that disarming mines enabled him to better steady his nerves in stressful situations. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army Occupation Medal (Japan), the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Campaign Star, and the United Nations Service Medal.
When he returned from Korea, he married Betty Louise Countryman on January 27, 1953. They remained husband and wife until his passing.
He attended Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical College. As an architect, he was an excellent problem solver and worked for firms such as Bozalis, Dickinson, Roloff; George Seminoff; and HTB. He also ran his own firm where he specialized in residential architecture. He had a minimalist style and often utilized natural materials and textures. He was influenced by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and the simplicity of Japanese design. The client interview was, for him, the most important part of designing a house that met the needs of the resident.
Ralph was also an accomplished artist and photographer. He loved poetry and the work of writers like Kipling and Twain. He read about current events, keeping informed about politics, economics and congressional issues. He was deeply interested in history and science, particularly new technological innovations.
He is survived by his wife; brother Paul; sister Katherine; his three children Steven, Leslie and Claudia and three grandchildren William, Micah and Olivia.
He will be missed by all who knew him for his creativity, stories, and unconventional point of view.
Published on April 18, 2017